Going Offroad Too Much? Tips For Troubleshooting Car Swerving

Automotive Blog

Many people are familiar with a bizarre listing or dragging to the side of the road when letting go of a car's steering wheel. There could be many causes, from a stuck steering system to more nefarious problems deeper in the car. A few inspection points can help you pinpoint the problem for a quick fix or an auto shop visit.

Inspect The Condition Of Your Tires

A flat tire can easily cause your care to drift to the side, but there a few other tire problems that can lead to the same issue. Take a closer look at your tires and try to pinpoint the following areas:

  • Treads. Tires have a specific pattern of rubber across the surface. These treads should be at least somewhat even, though it's fine if the outer edges are wearing away slightly. If the treads have been worn so much that your tire is nearly smooth or bare, replace the tire.
  • Swelling. Your tire should be a uniformly round shape. If there are any bulges or bumps that stick out of your tire's general shape, don't risk driving on it for much longer. The deformed shape of the tire has a subtle effect on your vehicle's balance, which can explain the wobbling or uncontrolled swerving.
  • Cracks. If your tire has been flat for a while or you've been driving on a low tire, the rubber can be damaged. Part of the tire's rubber and inner binding can spread apart under pressure. With too many cracks, your tire won't inflate and hold weight at its peak performance. Replace the tire as soon as possible.

Consider Axle Alignment

If your tires seem fine, the axles on your vehicle may be the problem. Driving across rough terrains, swerving against curves or being involved in an accident can alter the shape or straightness of your axles, which can explain the swerving.

Without an auto shop's assistance, it's hard to figure out if the axles are the problem. You could replace all of the tires and twist the steering wheel until it turns properly, but it takes precision machinery to find the true problem.

An auto shop like Gray's Tire and Auto can place your vehicle onto a balancing machine, resembling a set of rollers for each tire to rest on. As the car drives in place, the measurement system can report on poor rotation patterns. 

It's better to have an auto shop perform an axle alignment sooner rather than later, as the axle will only become more warped as it's driven on. To get a closer look at your specific vehicle's swerving or wobbling problem, contact an auto shop as soon as possible.


21 October 2014

Why I Love Working on Cars

My dad was a mechanic, but I never had any interest in cars when I was young. My dream was to become an accountant, and that is what I do for a living today. When I began my career, the stress of my job began to take a toll on me. One day, I visited my dad, and like usual, I talked to him while he was fixing up a car in our garage. He told me to switch places with him and began telling me what to do with them to help him repair the car. After just a half-hour or so, I felt more relaxed than I had in months. The rest is history, as they say, and I am now passionate about automobiles and auto repair. I also find blogging very relaxing, so I decided to combine my favorite hobbies and start an auto blog!